This post originally appeared on Metropolis.
Since its founding a decade ago, New York manufacturer Infinity Drain has established itself as a leader in design-centric, decorative drains. Its customized products are installed everywhere from bathrooms and balconies to pools and patios.
The company’s president, Jonathan Brill, says that the brand’s unique focus on producing products that combine robust technology and elegant aesthetics is what sets it apart from others in the sector.
“We call our approach ‘Where art meets science,’” he explains. “A drain is usually considered an institutional product that does not have an original aesthetic. People don’t often think about drains and the beautiful choices that are available until they realize it’s a detail that elevates the overall design.”
Beauty is important to Brill, and Infinity Drain offers hand-polished decorative grates and drains in a huge variety of patterns, materials and colors—including matte black and bronze—as well as innovative solutions, such as its stainless steel shower base that is guaranteed for life against waterproofing failure.
Customers have a wealth of choice both in terms of design and when it comes to methods of installation, from the traditional to the cutting-edge.
“We need a wide range because the US market is very bifurcated,” says Brill. “There are centuries-old ways of installing—like hot mopping or lead pan waterproofing—which are still common practice in California and New York City respectively, and new, more technological ways, such as liquid membranes being laid down.
“At the point of sale, where customers may not know which drainage installation method will be used, we have to offer products that can work either way. Then we need to marry that with a broad choice of decorative finishes that will achieve their design goals.”
According to Brill, one of Infinity Drain’s most important innovations is its linear shower drain system, which allows architects and designers to open up bathroom designs to a new range of aesthetic and technical possibilities.
A linear drain allows for the use of larger format floor tile and the ability to pitch the floor in a single direction. In this way it differs from a traditional center drain, where the floor must slope in four directions in order to properly drain the water.
“You don’t need any enclosures around the shower space because water can flow uninterrupted from wall-to-wall,” says Brill. “On the functional side, a barrier-free shower can cater to everyone’s needs and abilities, allowing people of all ages to safely enter the shower without the need to climb over a threshold or into a tub. What you end up with is a spa-like area where you’re free to roam.”
Four generations of Brill’s family have been working in the decorative fixture sector, and he firmly believes that his company’s products should appeal to everyone from grandparents renovating a much-loved home, to young parents buying their first property. The recently-released Universal Infinity Drain, for example, is aimed at the latter. It retails at $200, and is compatible with both new and old methods of installation.
More new launches are planned soon, and Brill is excited about the opportunities provided by both the residential sector and commercial developments (with Infinity Drain currently supplying drainage for a residential building on Wall Street).
“Most people don’t know what’s going on under their floor, or whether they’ve got a new or antiquated drainage set-up,” says Brill. “It’s a mystery zone! So our goal is to provide customers, whoever they are, with flexibility and choice, and bring them something that is technically excellent as well as decorative and visually appealing.”